Guangzhou Automotive Group Co. (GAC) is opening an advanced design centre in the Los Angeles suburb of Costa Mesa.
It is the second of three planned outposts in the US, the first being a technology centre recently opened in Silicon Valley, and now a Californian design centre. The final outpost will be a technology R&D centre in Detroit.
The new design centre had a ‘soft opening’ on 14th April, with officers from GAC’s headquarters on hand to tour the centre and give it an official launch. Car Design News had exclusive access to the new studio, plus designers and officers from GAC.
The Advanced Design Centre is an R&D outpost for GAC, focusing on issues of future mobility, automotive culture, and integrating the GAC brand into the American market. Unlike many design centres, the GAC facility (which was formerly a bank, and an art gallery) is open to the surrounding commercial area, with lots of glass.
Making use of its past as an art gallery, GAC plans to have days when the public can peek through the windows and browse displays of artwork and 3D models, “in order to stimulate the awareness of the GAC brand and its design flair”.
The studio is 100% digital, with an emphasis on 3D modelling and virtual reality rather than more traditional methods of design exploration.
CDN was able to speak at length with Pontus Fontaeus, Executive Design Director, and Zhang Fan, Vice President Head of Design– look out for an in-depth feature on the website very soon.